Library upgrade good news for youngsters

More space and accommodation for the very youngest readers, a new dedicated young adults section and improved online reference resources are just a few of the upgraded customer facilities that will be unveiled at Carnegie Library in Ayr at the end of the month.

The South Ayrshire Council flagship library will reopen on Friday 29 June after a brief four-day closure for internal improvement works, marking investment of around £15,000 in the popular facility.

The closure – from Monday 25 June to Thursday 28 June – will provide the opportunity for the reorganisation of the internal layout of the library to ensure Carnegie continues to deliver a first-class, modern library and information service that meets the changing needs of our customers.

The improvements will include:

· More flexibility and space within the Children’s Section to accommodate the increasing numbers coming along to Book Bug and Rhyme Time sessions for our youngest readers.

· The introduction of a new ‘Young Adults’ section, reflecting an increase in the number of books borrowed by teenagers. In South Ayrshire, young adult checkouts increased by 90 per cent between 2009/10 and 2011/12.

· An additional issue-return desk at the Garden Street entrance, which is being used more and more by customers because of its disabled access.

· New shelving units and better signage to ensure readers can browse and find the books they want quickly and easily.

· An improved online reference resource replacing the limited availability of printed resources and to reflect changing patterns in use.

Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council Portfolio Holder for Tourism & Leisure, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our libraries service, which continues to transform and innovate to deliver the level of service our customers both demand – and deserve. The forthcoming improvements at Carnegie Library are just the next step in that journey.

“I’m delighted we’re seeing more and more young readers taking advantage of the terrific facilities we have on offer and the changes to the layout in the children’s section and the creation of a new young adults’ section will ensure we provide a tailored approach to reading and borrowing that best meets their needs.

“On top of that, the more general changes will provide an improved customer-friendly environment that will benefit and keep up with the demands of the library users who visit Carnegie. And I would like to thank the local groups affected by these changes for their cooperation in helping us deliver these works.

“We’ve made a number of improvements to our online and digital library services over the past couple of years to ensure we’re seen as one of the leading authorities in this area and the Carnegie improvements show that we’re equally committed to providing the best possible services and facilities in our library branches too.”

Regular Book Bug mum Yvonne Blair said: “I’ve been going to the Book Bug sessions for 18 months now and it’s fantastic fun. The wee ones I look after love it and it’s a great way to get kids into reading. Recently, because it has been so successful, it’s been getting to be a bit of a squeeze, so opening up the area will make things so much better, as we can get up and really take part in the activity songs! We can’t wait to see it finished.”

Graeme Knott (19) said: “Libraries are not often seen by many young adults as a useful resource and there is an assumption they only cater for young children and older people. This is far from my experience and I’ve always found Carnegie a place to go and have some fun!

“I’m probably not as regular a user as I could be but judging from what I’ve learned about the refurbishment works, I’m certainly going to work on being there more often and would encourage other young adults to do the same.”

During the closure, a drop box will be positioned behind the front door of Carnegie Library so borrowed items can be returned via the letterbox. Alternative library facilities will also be available at Forehill, Alloway and Prestwick libraries, while the online library service – including the facility for online renewals – will continue to be available 24 hours a day at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/libraries.